The Delhi High Court on Wednesday (6 January 2016) asked the city government, directorate of education and the Lt. Governor to respond to a petition that has challenged the cap on upper age for admission to schools for entry level education.
A bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued a notice on the plea that has sought quashing of the notification dated December 18, 2015, by which the Delhi government fixed the upper age limit for Pre-School (Nursery), Pre-Primary (KG) and First Class.
The court has slated the next hearing for February 1.
The plea was filed by Uday Pratap Singh Kapoor, a child two years and ten months old, through his mother Simran Brar against the Delhi government circular.
According to the circular, the government fixed the upper age limit for admission to pre-School at “less than four years as on March 31, 2015”.
Advocate Akhil Sachar, counsel of the petitioner, said his client cannot seek admission to a pre-School class in 2017 as he will be four years and one month old.
In his petition, he requested the court to allow the child to take admission in pre-School for the academic year 2017-2018.
Justice Shakdher has directed the state government to file the counter affidavit within 10 days.
There can be no age for education and capping the upper age for admission is highly discriminatory and seeks to prejudice the rights of children and society. It violates the fundamental Right to Education, the plea said.
“The petitioner who has not even turned three years of age is being constrained to seek admission in the current academic year 2016-17 due to the circulars issued by the government on December 18, 2015,” the plea said.
“For that by making a provision for an upper age limit for admission to school, the impugned Order violates the Right to Education which is a fundamental right enshrined under the Constitution of India.”
The notification neither has any legislative sanction nor prima facie the approval of the administrator, that is Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung in the present case, the plea noted.
Stating that the circular was arbitrary and issued without any application of mind, the petition said fixing an upper age limit for pre-school, pre-primary and Class-1 was a sheer breach of the constitution.
The new circular was even an absolute contradiction of the guidelines issued by the central government, the plea said.